â†µWhen you decide to do something as illogical as quit your job and drive around the country following college football games, it’s tough to start touting logic as one of the big reasons you flew all the way to Atlanta, yet watched the game from a sports bar. Yet that’s exactly what we did. Because there was absolutely nothing logical about ticket prices this weekend. Absolute insanity. I watched a guy peel 13 hundred-dollar bills out of his money clip and trade them for two endzone seats to the game. We were looking at $1,000 for a pair of tickets, most of them tucked in the corner of the upper deck. That’s just plain stupid, and for two guys with zero affiliation with either team, and a checking account that’s long since disappeared, posting up at a bar with a few thousand other Alabama and Florida fans was good enough. â†µ
â†µWe’ve been a lot of places, but it isn’t possible to overstate the South’s love for college football. The passion makes up for the delusions that SEC fans have for their place in college football’s pantheon. When the local radio station is touting Eric Zeier as an all-time great in college football, it’s time to check the Kool-Aid. â†µâ†µ
â†µDowntown Atlanta was transformed into a Super Bowl-like atmosphere, except instead of corporate bigwigs and celebrities tucked behind velvet ropes, we saw plenty of people dressed like NASCAR drivers, and more incredible mustaches congregated within a one mile radius of the Georgia Dome than I thought was physically possible. Both Phil and I tried to get into the SEC spirit and have both been growing disgusting ‘staches for a few weeks. Trying to talk to anyone, let alone college girls, at a bar with a push broom on your upper-lip is a challenge, and I ran out of Tom Selleck jokes by halftime of the ACC Championship game. â†µâ†µ
â†µLiving in Los Angeles means trying to find a good bar to watch your home team play. That’s given me a lot of experience watching big games in bars. I sat in Sonny Maclean’s, a Boston sports bar in Santa Monica that is the West Coast home of Red Sox Nation, during the improbable comeback versus the Yankees. The place was packed wall-to-wall, with a line out the door two hours before the first pitch. This bar was just as crazy as Sonny’s, but four times the size, and only two blocks from the Georgia Dome. We had a table posted up by 11:00am, and watched as a line wrapped around the corner for literally the next eight hours. â†µâ†µ
â†µIt’s been a long road for us, and frankly a bit anti-climatic with the biggest game of the year leaving us out in the cold. Yet it was good to watch a game like so many millions of others did this Saturday. While you can never replicate the environment inside a stadium, especially at a game of this magnitude, we set out on this journey as just two guys, neither of us with any contacts within the college football world. No corporate sponsors, no press access, and really no idea of how to do what we were trying to do. We were just two brothers with a couple laptops, two cameras, and a rental car. Spending everyday from the end of August to the beginning of December sharing a car and hotel room with your brother is a daunting task, and the fact that neither of us knocked the other one out means that we might actually like each other. Maybe we never became the viral internet phenomenon that we hoped to become, but it’s been great meeting new friends across the country, with our common bond being college football. â†µâ†µ
â†µWe haven’t figured out what our plan is for the bowl season yet, and this very well could be the last college football game we see this year. Even if it was from a barstool sitting with a thousand strangers I’d never met in my life, in a city 2,200 miles away from my apartment, and 22,000 miles away from where we started this adventure, the game was a fitting end to a journey of a lifetime. â†µâ†µ
â†µNow excuse me while I spend the next week sitting on my couch. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.